why is it not working?

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tan.b

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I thought my tank had cycled before i got my fish but i now realise it cant have done as it was only a week and from what i've read it takes about a month, so it looks like i'm doing fish cycling now instead (not what i intended, but we live and learn eh)!

anyway, i got some guppies, so surely my tank must be cycling now.

well it seems not.

i'm still getting zero on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. i'm using the aquarium pharmaceuticals inc master test kit, and so surely its not a dodgy test kit. they cant all be wrong....the ammonia and nitrite and nitrate tests. i would've thought reading up on the nitrogen cycle i would at least have some ammonia by now and maybe even nitrite. is it because i dont have enough fish, therefore not enough ammonia being produced to register on the tests? got the guppies on 17th jan.

i've been doing 16% water changes in case of any undetected ammonia and figured it couldnt do any harm. did a 30% change a few days ago cos of illness and meds etc, but fish all ok now. yesterday didnt change water at all as thought if i left it alone for a day i might get some ammonia, but that didnt work, so back on with daily changes. day before yesterday got a white cloudiness which i hoped might be the bacterial bloom, but how can it if i've had zero on my tests? it just doesnt make sense.

so what do i do now?

sit and wait til something happens? - considering i have no patience at all, and to not even started the cycle is frustrating the **** out of me!!! i want a tank full of fish!!!

got some more plants arriving tomorrow, so hopefully that wont upset things ( i had to buy summat for my tank, thought plants would be better than fish for now. keep my impatience at bay!)

or...........should i get more fish, therefore more ammonia produced, therefore kickstarting the cycle? - of so...how many fish?

help please!!!
 

shollia

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Don't worry heh.. you'll get ammonia readings soon enough.
I was in the same boat as you. We got 4 danios to cycle our tank (due to being impatient and not realizing fishless would be quicker)... and it took a while for us to get any sort of ammonia reading.

Patience patience patience heh... It stinks cause we all want that tank full of fishies, but we just have to wait while nature does it's thing to make sure the water is safe for them
 
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tan.b

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shollia, was that for your 28gal tank? can you remember how long it took to get your first ammonia reading? did your fish all survive it? did you do daily water changes before the ammonia hit the tank?

sorry for all the questions, i'm really finding this waiting game really hard! it feels like it will never happen!!!

is there any light at the end of the tunnel? will it ever happen?!!! ??? i'm stuck in limbo at the moment....just waiting! :-\
 

shollia

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Yep, that's for the 28 gallon.
Got crappy ammonia test strips & fish on Jan 2nd it seems. Didn't have any ammonia readings for about a week. I'm sure it's different for all tanks. Ever since I added in the fish... I've done daily water changes. I usually did 10% every day unless ammonia was high, then I would do a 40-50% water change. Sometimes I would do a 20% depending on how un-lazy I was feeling heh

As of now all of my fish are alive and kicking. 1 did come down with fin rot though b/c I think the high nitrite and nitrate readings were bothering it. My male danio also has frayed fins, but he was like that when we got him *shrugs* All of my fish are pretty healthy though. They've grown since I got them AND have produced many fry. Alot of the fry have died, but I have a few in my breeders net that are growing nicely
 
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tan.b

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hey ho....i keep waiting!

did another test this morn. just for ammonia this time. figured no point testing all 3 everyday as surely i wont nitrite/nitrate til i get some ammonia. guess what..........zero! bright yellow tube. def zero. not even a slight tinge of green! havent bothered with water change today either. decided to do every alternate day and see if that might get the ammonia up. i just keep making it up as i go along!! hopefully something good will happen!! been waiting for about 3 weeks now. i just dont get it!!! :-\!! my fish seem happy and well (after the bad spell i had where 2 died and had 2 diseases in my tanK). they're eating and charging about like looneys. they just look a bit lost all on their own. i want to get them some tank mates!! - gotta fight the urge on fridays as i have to drive past several fish shops on way to playgroup!!! then i have 2 and half hours at my disposal while son at playgroup....fish stores on every corner....maybe i'll just have a look and ask them what their opinion is on the lack of cycling..... ....just a look mind!!!

for you to get fry soon after cycling must be good. they only breed if conditions are perfect dont they? :-\

lets keep hoping for that all important ammonia!!....if that day ever comes? :-\
 
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tan.b

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wa-haaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy! - i think!!?

got some danios yesterday and tested the water before i put them in. zero for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. tested again today as the danios are huge and eating loads, so figured they must be polluting the water and creating "the" cycle or a mini cycle or something. anyway, ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = 10, nearly 20 (colour inbetween. slightly darker than 10, but def not 20).............so, the questions then............
1. has it now cycled at last?
2. why no ammonia or nitrite?
3. will the plants eventually keep up with the nitrate naturally, or is there another type of bacteria that deal with it? how long now til a healthy balance establishes (approx, i know every tank is different, but based on experience?) and can go to weekly water changes.
4. did 30% panic water change after these readings, and will retest and water change tomorrow. is that the right thing to do? or do bigger/smaller water changes more/less often?
5. am i right in thinking so long as nitrate stays below 20 the fish wont suffer? what do i do if it does go over 20? do 50% change or do 2 water changes of 30% in a day?

sorry for all the questions. hopefully once i've sussed out this tank cycling thing, future tanks will be easier!!! (at least next time i can cheat and get a head start and just put a filter in the established tank to get my bacteria!!)

thanks
Tan
 

dazzler

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from my experience you might have to check your water ager(water conditioner) if it neutrilzes ammonia this COULD be the problem. i am doing a fishless cycle with ammonia drops but my conditioner was not helping the cause by causing it to stay at zero just like you!! so i went to the lfs and bought some seeded "matrix stones" (australian product) for my filter. then two days later WHAMMO we got ammonia although it never got above 1.0. my nitrites are on zero and the nitrAtes are about 7.5 (a mix of 5.0-10)

so check your water conditioner this is the only thing i can think of!! others may be able to help more
dont worry Tan you will get there. the waiting time can be absorbed by searching this site for ideas and research research and more research. this always pays off

regards Dazzler
 

chickadee

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How was it that you cycled the tank before you got the fish? What did you use to cycle it with? This may make a difference in the answers you should get. If you cycled with gravel from another tank or with ammonia, possibly you missed the ammonia spike and the tank did cycle. Those cycles go pretty fast given the right conditions sometimes. Just keep an eye on things...not with the danios and guppies in the tank, you will get ammonia if the tank is not cycled. You are going to need to test every day or get an ammonia alert to hang on the inside of the tank. They last a year and while they do not give numerical readings, they do let you know if there is ammonia in the tank.



Rose
 
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tan.b

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i used nutrafin cycle for a week with fish food, and as readings were zero, got the guppies. thats when i discovered this website and realised it probably hadnt cycled before the guppies came as cycling takes ages with fish food.

I'm not entirely sure what nutrafin cycle does, but it came with my tank and said it makes tank ready for fish in 48hrs. i didnt trust that claim, so waited just over a week. tested water first and as no ammonia/nitrite/nitrate thought it was safe.

anyway, after reading lots on this website and thus realising the tank prob wasnt cycled when i got the guppies it seemed the guppies would end up cycling it, so done lots of water changes (1-2 days 16-30%) and checking water daily ensuring no toxicity and waiting for ammonia etc. but still nothing was happening. just zeros for everything. been using half the recommended dose of nutrafin this week and weaning off it as i read somewhere it's not a good idea to use it (cant remember why though or where i saw the article!!) - so i really dont know if it had somehow cycled in the first week and i'd missed it (which i doubt as everything i've read on here says cycling takes ages) or the conditions just weren't right for cycling? maybe 3 guppies arent enough to trigger a cycle? (there were 5, but 2 died after a week). they dont eat much, so cant produce much waste. the ammonia alert things sound good. a year is fine as if there's going to be an ammonia problem it would be in the first few months surely? anyway, i'm starting to ramble. will post todays readings soon...
 
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tan.b

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ok, todays readings are: ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = 5, pH = 7.2

now, do i do a small water change of 15% (did 30% last night), ??? or will this upset the cycling or leave it and test again tonight, :-\ and only change if above 10? :-\ bearing in mind i have fish to consider.

ooooooooh i'll be glad when i know what i'm doing! wish i could fast forward 6 months!!

thanks
 

dazzler

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whoa your tank is very close to mine readings wise. i too would like info on this seems we are in the same boat. also i have a bottle of cycle that sits happily in my fish cabinet. it is roughly a money making scheme. once you start using it you will have to keep using it other wise your tank "dont quote me" goes into a mini cycle(i think???!!!)so im glad i found that out first its still in the packet.

regards Dazzler
 
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tan.b

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yeah dazzler i'm sure i read somewhere that the bottle of cycle stuff is just a money spinner, but unfortunately i discovered the bottle before i discovered this website! so i've used it, but i'm using less and less and weaning my tank off it so hopefully not throwing the readings out along the way!! to start with i was throwing loads in the tank under the impression the more i use the quicker it will cycle!!! i certainly wont be buying anymore!! expense i can do without! also interesting about the filters as my tank instruction booklet was all for renewing filter rather frequently whereas this site suggests only replacing when actually damaged! and carbon filters dont seem to serve any purpose at all unless you've meds in your tank! so i'm saving money along the way (all this saved money going towards my new tank!!)

anyway, correct me if i'm wrong about the cycle and filters, and hope for advice re: readings soon!

last nights readings (i'm becoming obsessive about readings!! now doing twice a day as my tank is fully stocked and concerned about them polluting it!!)
ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = 5.

will do some more this morn and i'll do a water change too regardless. (if nitrate above 10 i'll do 30%, if below 10 i'll do 15%)
am i going along the right track. if i'm about to mess up...please tell me!!!!!!!

dazzler....just out of curiosity, how long has your tank been cycling? have you got fish in yours? what water changes are you doing? (amount/frequency). questions over!!!
 
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tan.b

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same readings this morn: ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0 and nitrate = 5

is this normal? does this mean my tank has finally indeed "cycled" and i can finally relax? no more fish going in now as its fully stocked. would like to squeeze in a pleco though, but will have to re-arrange fish when i get new tank set-up. might move danios out into new tank so they enjoy the space and go barmy without upsetting the guppies, then maybe put in a couple of gourami's to keep guppies company and a pleco or something? Mmmm, decisions decisions!! - when re-arranging fish that shouldnt upset the cycle should it, as the bio load will be the same. it'll remain an inch of fish per gallon whichever combination of fish i go for. :-\
 
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